NOOSA – Papua New Guinea will never allow the PNG share of resource projects to slip below 52%, prime minister James Marape has said as the nation stands on the threshold of a new resources boom.
Mr Marape said his government was pushing for more than a 50% stake in P’nyang, Pasca, Pandora and other future LNG projects as well as the Wafi-Golpu and Porgera mining projects.
“This is what we are doing, making the hard decisions,” he said.
He prime minister also took aim at his predecessor, Peter O’Neill, who he said “in eight years had delivered only the Papua LNG project” in which the government had negotiated a 51% share.
But he said the PNG government “will not come below 52%” in negotiating new resource projects of any kind.
“We tried to push for a return of above 55% at Wafi-Golpu and Porgera,” he said.
At Porgera, the government “had settled for 53% over the long term, with the first five years being 65%.
“We’re trying to push for a gain at Wafi-Golpu and Porgera with a return above 55%,” he said.
Mr Marape said he was committed to getting a better deal for PNG on all projects.
He also indicated his government was pressing resources companies to deliver a greater share of their purchasing and employment to PNG providers.
“I appreciate what petroleum minister Kerenga Kua is doing by trying to squeeze a little more in the area of local content so we get a bit more on top of what was already signed,” he said.
He also accused the Opposition of dishonestly claiming the Papua LNG Project should have already been constructed.
“They are making it [seem] as if it was going to be a miracle that would have brought money into the country in 2019 or 2020.
“The Papua LNG Project was going into front end engineering and design in 2022, followed by a final investment decision by 2023, and construction to start in 2024 or 2025.
“We are working very hard and in just two years [have been] discussing Papua LNG to ensure it takes off, Wafi-Golpu, New Porgera, Pandora LNG, Pasca LNG and P’nyang LNG.
“The big five projects apart from Papua LNG remain our focus … to ensure our economy is strong.
“We have to make these tough calls to ensure that we anchor our economy correctly, not just for today but for the next generation,” he said.
“The more we collect today contributes to a better budget three, four, five, six years down the line.”
Sources: Office of the Prime Minister media release; PNG Bulletin Online